Speed­ing up Ser­vices In­ven­tory and Lo­gis­tics Man­age­ment

The big­gest chal­lenge for any in­dus­try player is to trap the mar­ket seg­ments and iden­tify the po­ten­tial prospects.

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The need of the hour is to have a cen­tralised data­base man­age­ment engine, which can keep track of the list of the en­ti­ties in­volved in the busi­ness ever

with emerg­ing busi­ness needs and pro­found knowl­edge cen­tres, ge­o­graph­i­cal bar­ri­ers have re­duced by a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age. In the era of smart­phones, tech­nol­ogy has en­abled the move­ment of goods in one click. The fast pro­cess­ing of cus­tomers’ or­ders, in turn meets the cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and the rev­enue bar for the in­dus­try player rises. The do­main of lo­gis­tics has brought splen­did op­por­tu­nity and a drift in the form of out­sourc­ing of busi­ness. Niche play­ers in the mar­ket look for 3PL ser­vices to ex­e­cute the job with sig­nif­i­cant ser­vice level and in a cost ef­fec­tive man­ner.

Amongst all, the big­gest chal­lenge for any in­dus­try player is to trap the mar­ket seg­ments and iden­tify the po­ten­tial prospects. Within the lo­gis­tic realm, specif­i­cally fo­cussing on the for­ward­ing do­main, the ma­jor time-con­sum­ing task is to man­age the cus­tomer and ven­dor data­base with whom the com­pany is deal­ing on the daily ba­sis, along with the as­so­ci­ated rates.

chal­lenges per­sist­ing in the in­dus­try a) Con­ven­tional data­base man­age­ment through car­bon sta­tion­ary and Ex­cel sheets b) Quoted rates, not ton­ing the in­dus­try

stan­dards c) Mis­match in tar­iffs as per ex­ist­ing

mar­ket rates d) Fil­ing com­pli­ance with reg­u­la­tory

bod­ies, es­pe­cially in sea trans­port e) Col­lab­o­ra­tive plat­form not in sync for

the cross func­tional teams f) Ex­ten­sive billing mod­ules g) Mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive so­lu­tions

req­ui­site so­lu­tion In the fluc­tu­at­ing trends and tra­di­tions, gen­er­ally soft­ware so­lu­tions are con­sid­ered to have a magic wand pro­vid­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­sight and inim­itable so­lu­tions to the prob­lems ex­ist­ing in the sphere. There has been a tremen­dous growth wit­nessed in the soft­ware so­lu­tion providers, for the lo­gis­tic do­main. How­ever, the in­dus­try is in need of a so­lu­tion which can ef­fec­tively cater to the chal­lenges faced and pro­vides an agree­able and best pos­si­ble so­lu­tion which in­creases the pro­duc­tiv­ity ex­ten­sively.

ex­ten­sive Data­base The need of the hour is to have a cen­tralised data­base man­age­ment engine, which can keep track of the list of the en­ti­ties in­volved in the busi­ness ever. A proper sys­tem which can en­sure reg­is­ter­ing of new po­ten­tials ei­ther as cus­tomers or ven­dors which can be traced at a fu­ture date for ref­er­ence. Such a sys­tem would also act as a cen­tral repos­i­tory of rates around the globe, seek­ing al­most neg­li­gi­ble ref­er­ences through Ex­cel spread­sheets and through the shuf­fling amongst the car­bon sta­tion­ary. This would sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the time and ef­forts of the end users.

Dis­par­ity in the in­dus­try stan­dards With un­even busi­ness trends, the rat­ing stan­dards and pat­tern also changes in the in­dus­try. It be­comes very te­dious to keep track of such vari­a­tions on car­bon sta­tion­ary. To ease this, in­dus­try is in need of a so­lu­tion, wherein, one click would list out the set of ex­ist­ing rates and can pro­vide an anal­y­sis of the real time tar­iffs. Such a so­lu­tion would also turn out to be a cost ef­fec­tive, time ef­fec­tive & trans­parency be­tween cross

func­tional teams would im­prove thereby in­creas­ing the pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Sin­gle click in­voic­ing

If any soft­ware sys­tem has too much man­ual in­ter­ven­tion then the over­all pro­duc­tiv­ity of such soft­ware so­lu­tions is not up to the mark and they would not con­trib­ute much in the ROI. In sin­gle click en­tire process should get au­to­mated. And as an out­put, cus­tomer should have a handy in­voice ready to be posted to the ac­counts.

in­te­grated suite

Gen­er­ally the soft­ware so­lu­tion providers fo­cus on re­solv­ing the prob­lems at in­di­vid­ual lev­els. How­ever, the ma­jor com­po­nent of com­plex­ity ex­ists in the in­te­grated ver­sion of such re­quire­ments. The in­dus­try to­day, de­mands an in­te­grated suite which caters to the per­sist­ing prob­lems as a whole bunch of so­lu­tion, seek­ing min­i­mal ef­forts from end users.

re­duc­ing car­bon sta­tion­ary and op­ti­mis­ing rate with er­at­ing

Con­sid­er­ing the on-go­ing changes and drifts in for­ward­ing in­dus­try, Four­soft has de­vel­oped pric­ing soft­ware which fo­cusses pri­mar­ily on pro­vid­ing the so­lu­tions to the key chal­lenges ex­ist­ing within the realm. They are: a) Cen­tralised DB soft­ware, cov­er­ing all

the ge­ogra­phies. b) The Soft­ware is ca­pa­ble enough to ac­com­mo­date the com­plete life cy­cle of the rate man­age­ment. c) Ef­fi­cient rate search mod­ule which com­pre­hen­sively re­duces the time and ef­forts. d) The soft­ware has ca­pa­bil­ity to be in­te­grated through web ser­vices with any ex­ter­nal for­ward­ing sys­tem. e) Soft­ware is well equipped with one click fea­tures like send­ing RFQs to car­ri­ers, send­ing in­stant quo­ta­tions to the prospects thereby pro­vid­ing the best in class rat­ing so­lu­tion for the for­ward­ing do­main.

More of­ten, it has been ob­served that any ship­per or equiv­a­lent rep­re­sen­ta­tive pub­lish ship­ping de­tails in print me­dia in the form known as ten­ders re­quest­ing

If any soft­ware sys­tem has too much man­ual in­ter­ven­tion then the over­all pro­duc­tiv­ity of such soft­ware so­lu­tions is not up to the mark

for­warders to bid for ship­ping the goods. If a for­warder has a ready so­lu­tion avail­able, than im­me­di­ate suc­ceed­ing step should be to in­cor­po­rate the ship­ment de­tails in the soft­ware and look for the best match­ing rates from the car­rier (avail­able in the data­base). Once the best pos­si­ble rate from the car­rier is iden­ti­fied, then it’s just the ques­tion of adding mark-ups to them and put to the fore the bid to the cus­tomer. Such au­to­ma­tion would bring a tremen­dous break-through in the se­ries of op­er­a­tion per­formed to re­spond to such ten­ders.

(The author Pragya Agrawal is Func­tional Con­sul­tant, PMM Team, Four­soft)

Pragya Agrawal

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